UPDATED: Baucus Mum on Keystone Pipeline

UPDATED POST May 9th, 2012 0830 AM MST

Senator Max Baucus (D-MT) told Politico that he would “fight for” the Keystone pipeline in the House-Senate conference committee this week.  Apparently he took the gloves off, but never stepped into the ring.  As Reuters reports– not even a word out of Senator Max Baucus (D-MT) in support of the Keystone pipeline.

Max Baucus, the only Democratic senator on the conference panel to publicly favor the pipeline, did not mention it during his opening remarks, instead stressing the need to move forward on the bill passed by the Senate.

Here’s the full text of the quote used by Politico’s “Morning Energy” report:

FOCUS ON BAUCUS: Sen. Max Baucus wants Keystone in the transportation package and will “fight for” it and the jobs it would bring Montana, but he isn’t willing to sink the ship to get it, an aide told ME. “No one is a bigger supporter of the Keystone pipeline than Sen. Baucus, and he absolutely supports adding it to the highway bill conference,” the aide said. “But if there aren’t enough votes from other conferees to get a highway bill done with Keystone included, we end up with zero jobs, and Sen. Baucus won’t sacrifice 14,000 Montana jobs over a couple thousand that can’t pass into law. It just doesn’t add up.”

ORIGINAL POST ON May 8th, 2012

***You can watch the live video from the conference committee by clicking this link which will take you to C-SPAN.  (Recording will be posted once live stream is complete)

Politico’s “Morning Energy” report featured this earlier today:

BAUCUS TIGHT-LIPPED ON KEYSTONE: If you hoped last week’s recess might have helped Sen. Max Baucus make up his mind on adding the Keystone XL pipeline (which he supports) to the bill (which he’s not so sure about), you’ll be disappointed. “You’ve got to weigh it against the most jobs, and that includes the highway bill,” Baucus told ME about the pipeline. “I’m just saying: I am for jobs. There are lots of different permutations here.”

As I type this post, the conference committee is still under way.  As to whether or not Sen. Baucus will press for Keystone pipeline approval today, his spokeswoman Kate Downen sent this via e-mail:

Max is fighting for every opportunity to get the Keystone project moving forward, including in the Highway Bill Conference.

Unless I missed it, Senator Max Baucus (D-MT) continued to be tight-lipped on the Keystone pipeline during his opening remarks at the conference committee.  Will he press for the approval of Keystone?  Watch here to find out.   

Now that Transcanada has re-applied for the permit, and changed the route- I don’t see what Senator Baucus has to lose. 

Click here to watch video of Senator Baucus’ remarks. (At least most of his opening remarks)

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